Community Giving

Bernie and Linda Roberts

Fund Name:: Roberts Family Fund
Fund Established: March 1, 1999
Community Foundation(s): Brainerd Lakes Area
Award: 2007 Award in Philanthropy from Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation

Make a difference in the lives of others. This is the guiding principle that motivates many of the choices and decisions that Bernie and Linda Roberts make.

From raising their children to how they each operate their businesses, this principle ranks as one of their highest priorities. Rooted in their strong Catholic faith, the Roberts feel very blessed to be in a position to help others both financially and by demonstrating philanthropic leadership. Because of this strong philanthropic leadership, they were chosen to receive the 2007 Award in Philanthropy from the Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation (BLACF).

Bernie, who has been a certified financial planner with Edward Jones in Brainerd since 1985, was one of the founding directors of the BLACF when it was established in 1998. As he works with clients, he makes sure that they understand all the options available when considering philanthropic gifts.

“Philanthropy is like an extension of each person. If someone is interested in charitable giving, I like to help show them how they can make a difference,” Bernie said.

Linda enjoys more working behind the scenes -- running her electrolysis business and raising their three children, Scott, Jenna and Travis. Although they are both very involved with community organizations and their local church, Bernie and Linda truly enjoy their family life at their lake home in Nisswa.

With her faith to ground her, Linda believes, “God calls us to share and to be part of His plan. I want to encourage a mindset that helps people make our world a better place.”

When deciding which causes or charities to support, the Roberts often make donations to individuals who are facing a crisis situation. In addition, they like to support organizations that promote the dignity of human life and advocate for strong family values.

As they have increased their donor advised fund, they are building an endowment fund to gift from when they are no longer working and their income is lower. Also important to them was the ability to name their children as successor advisors. In this way, their children will determine what charitable organizations to give the fund's earnings to each year, long after Bernie and Linda have passed away. It is important to them that their family and others can appreciate the value of giving and realize the difference it can make in people's lives.